Adding a break wheel is something I’ve been meaning to do for ages but only recently found the time.
Looking at Ozark Miniatures I found they offer a 16 inch wheel and lock pawl set. All you have to add is the post to mount it all on. The Ozark part I purchased for 1:20.3 scale comes as a two part set.
To mount the wheel and pawl I used 1/16th brass rod purchased from a LHS. I arbitrarily decided that the wheel should be 1 and 3/4 inches above the deck and that the rod should extend below the deck one half inch. So I cut my rods 2 and 1/4 inches in length.
To make the 1/16th rod fit the wheel I mounted a 1/16th bit in a pin vise and sized the mounting depression in the wheel to fit the rod. I did not drill all the way through the wheel, just enough so when glued the wheel would be secure on the end of the rod.
For the lock pawl (the ratchet casting) I drilled out the gear depression but this time I when all the way through the casting. This will allow me to have the rod go though the pawl and into the car deck.
Next was drilling a hole though the car deck.
Before assembly I painted the pawl and wheel with acrylic paint. I use Dark Burnt Umber for most anything I want to look like old metal.
When painting small parts I’ve found that toothpicks and clothespins work great to hold the pieces while painting and drying.
When painting white metal castings be sure to file down any flashing bits before applying paint. Paint the first coat without trying to get full or even color coverage. Just get some paint on it and let it dry. You’ll find the second coat goes on much better and allows you to get the coverage you want.
The lock pawl and rod I glued into the decking using superglue. Let this dry before installing the wheel.
A small dab of superglue on the center depression of the wheel and then slip the wheel onto the top of the rod.
The last step is to paint the rod with the dark burnt umber. I did not paint the ratchet gears since I figured that when “in use” this part of the brake would be shiny.
Adding brake wheels to the HLW cars was very straightforward. Here is another car I did using these steps.
I hope you find this helpful. Let me know what details you add to your rolling stock! –TJ
(Originally posted 11/18/2011, revised 5/4/2012)